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Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

Ladies and Gentlemen

Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Ladies and Gentlemen
signed 'Andy Warhol' (on the reverse)
acrylic and silkscreen inks on canvas
31 7/8 x 26¼in. (81 x 66.5cm.)
Executed in 1975
Galleria Anselmino, Turin.
Galleria Lucio Amelio, Naples.
Galleria Il Centro, Naples.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1985.
G. Mazzotta (ed.), Andy Warhol: Ladies and Gentlemen, Milan 1975 (illustrated in colour, p. 203).
Turin, Palazzo Bricherasio, Pittura dura dal Graffettismo alla Street Art, 1999-2000, p. 32, no. 3.

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Alice de Roquemaurel
Alice de Roquemaurel

Lot Essay

Andy Warhol's Ladies & Gentlemen is a powerfully expressive portrait of one of the many faces that make up New York's diverse community. Unlike his celebrity portraits, which revolutionized the depiction of Hollywood glamour by using the utilitarian nature of the silkscreen process, this portrait marks an important expansion of Warhol's technique by including a series of energetic brushstrokes and the manual manipulation of the paint with his fingers to produce a rich, lavish and yet intensely personal portrait of a New York drag queen.

Warhol first began using his fingers to manipulate the paint directly on the surface of the canvas in the early 1970s, initially using this procedure to produce an optical and illusionist effects and helping to create a sense of ephemerality and atmosphere. But starting with his Ladies & Gentlemen series he enhanced this technique to become much more a vehicle of contour drawing. In this work, Warhol's finger marks clearly delineate the outline of the important facial features; the head, the eyes, the hands and lips. By adding these exacting lines, Warhol introduces a quality that deviates from traditional portraiture which serves to flatter the sitter.

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